Kunqu Echos Around the Greater DC Area

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the George Washington University [Time]    2016-12-14 13:51:56 

On Friday, November 11th, 2016, the Shanghai Kunqu Group, a state-sponsored performing troupe dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of traditional Chinese Kunqu theater, performed The Peony Pavilion and Mudan Ting at the Hoff Theater for over 500 guests. The performance was organized in response to an invitation from the George Washington University Confucius Institute and the University of Maryland Confucius Institute. Famous Kunqu artists starred in the performance , including Shen Yili, Ni Hong a Gu Haohao, who is a recipient of the prestigious Plum Blossom Award. The troupe has previously toured in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Singapore and Taiwan.

Interrupted Dream. Du Liniang: Shen, Yili. Liu Menmei: Hu, Weilu

Pursuing the Dream. Du Liniang: Shen, Yili

Fleeing Down the Mountain, Niehai Ji

The featured scenes in the program were the 10th chapter < Travelling in the Garden · The Dream Interrupted>, 12th chapter and the < Records of an Evil Sea> from . The former were elegant and gorgeous, resonating deeply with the audience. With the first lyric, the entire theater held its breath. The latter was humorous with accessible lyrics and slapstick humor. Every move of Ben Wu, the little monk, earned much of the evening’s laughter. The host and the performing troupe delicately composed and prepared the evening’s program to allow the audience to fully experience the true charm of Kunqu, simultaneously in both its sophistication and accessibility, serious drama and light-hearted humor.

Attendees came from all backgrounds, including long-standing fans of Kunqu and many first-time listeners. Combining the art forms of play, opera, ballet, poetry and musical recital, Kunqu opera is one of China's oldest forms of opera, reaching its peak in the 16th - 18th centuries. In 2001, UNESCO added this art form to the list of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Being one of the “UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage” certified by the United Nation, inviting professional groups to the U.S. and perform becomes a symbolic way Confucius Institute to increase understanding of Chinese traditional arts.


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